Raimondo Serra, the European Union’s directorate-general for agriculture and rural development for Asia and Australia, added that the Russian war had not only led to soaring food prices, but that ‘It had also increased the cost of farming, as Russia is one of the world’s leading fertilizer exporters.
According to him, although most Asian countries are far from the battlefield in Ukraine, they remain the indirect victims of the Russian invasion because the war has led to a sharp increase in the price of natural gas, a key ingredient in fertilizers.
Serra said rising fertilizer prices are making the world’s food supply more expensive and less plentiful. This comes at a time when the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations recently reported that the global food price index in March reached the highest level since records were kept in 1990. .
However, Asia as a whole could manage to stabilize growth, he said.
The AfDB estimates that Asia will experience average GDP growth of 5.2% this year and 5.3% next year, thanks to the continued recovery of domestic demand and strong exports, while inflation will reach 3.7% in 2022 and 3.1% in 2023.
In the meantime, the pace of recovery has remained uneven across economies. South Asian countries will experience an average growth of 7% this year and 7.4% next year, overtaking countries in East and Southeast Asia.
Despite various risks and challenges, the experts recommended that Asian governments continue to support economic recovery, maintain their development focus, and continue investing in green transformation as well as reforming their tax and financial system.